Friday, November 19, 2010

Health Loaf Love

This week I was craving a treat that Adam begrudgingly refers to as a "Health Loaf." Translation: A low-fat, low-sugar quick bread loaded with fiber, fruit, and nuts.

Needless to say Health Loaves don't fall at the top of the man's favorite foods list. He's more inclined to opt for cheesecake.

Me, on the other hand? I LOVE a big ol' slice of Health Loaf (although, I prefer to call them by their true names--e.g., Pumpkin-Walnut Bread). Perfect for a breakfast side dish or a snack, a slice of healthy quick bread satisfies my craving for a baked treat without doing the damage of Metabolism Man's cheesecake.

One of the first places I turn for baking inspriation is Joy's blog. This lady has it going on in the kitchen. Last week she shared a heavenly recipe for Apple-Cranberry-Pecan-Everything Bread. This baby was moist, rich in flavor, and screamed from the pan "I taste like the holidays!"

I managed to morph Joy's wonderful recipe into a tasty, filling Health Loaf that even Adam enjoyed. (Although, his enjoyment might have something to do with the Nutella he smothered on his slice.). To health-i-fy the bread, I almost completely eliminated the oil, cut the sugar in half, and increased the amount of apples, among other changes. I like each to eat my slices plain n' simple, with a little spread of Smart Balance.

Today, let's raise our glasses to all the Health Loaves out there. They deserve a little lovin' every now and then.

What's your favorite quick bread to make? If you have a favorite Health Loaf recipe, please post the link below!

Pumpkin-Apple-Cranberry-Pecan Bread
(adapted from Joy's recipe)

This fruit n' nut loaded bread has completely hit the spot for me this week. Lots of spices, apple chunks, and toasted pecans lend it the perfect holiday health loaf form :)

  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I cut the sugar in half! Tastes perfect to me, but if you prefer it sweeter, by all means go for the full cup. But remember is a health bread.)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (I topped off the 1/2 measuring cup with canola oil though--probably about 2 TBSP total)
  • 3 - 4 TBSP maple syrup
  • 3 TBSP water
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans (MUST toast 'em!)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 apples, diced
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, yogurt, maple syrup, and water. Gently add to dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. Fold in pecans, cranberries, and apples.

3) Bake for approximately 60 minutes (I think mine was done at about 56 minutes), or until lightly browned and firm. This guy has a strange texture that I love :) Not a moist crumb like non-healthified breads, but rather a dense, smooth texture.


  1. This looks great! And I love how there is very little added sugar (compared to most quick bread recipes!) Not only does this loaf look moist, but it is bursting with all kinds of wholesome goodies. I can see why you love it. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a wonderful Friday night!

  2. Quick breads and muffins are dangerous because they can *seem* so healthy, but most of the time they're loaded with fat and sugar! Great idea healthify-ing this bread. It looks delicious!

  3. that looks wonderful. will definetly have to try perhaps with the addition of some wheat germ....

    do you have other "health breads" posted?

  4. oh my gosh, that looks so good and perfect anytime of day!

  5. I'm definitely trying this one! It would be a great breakfast bread. :)

  6. I love the name "health bread" just means you can possibly have an extra slice without feeling TOO guilty haha! My favorite is here:

  7. Oh yum yum yum. I am so making this for thanksgiving!! I am already making my pumpkin scones for thanksgiving breakfast, but this would be wonderful as well!! I cant wait to try it!! ;)